Woman Dropped Into Ocean During Medical Transfer Dies

Travel News — By Carlo Alcos on May 3, 2011 at 11:35 am

A nightmare cruise vacation doesn’t get much more nightmarish than this. Janet Richardson, 73, from Penrith, Cumbria in the UK, was on a vacation with her husband, George, aboard the cruise ship Ocean Countess, when she fell so ill she needed to be evacuated in an emergency procedure. According to The Sun, Janet experienced dizziness after dinner one night, most likely due to her diabetes. She was seen by the ship’s doctor and put onto a drip, but it was decided that she needed to be moved to a hospital.

Although the cruise ship is equipped with a helicopter-landing pad, the Norwegian rescue authorities dispatched a boat to make the transfer. With Janet in a stretcher, crew attempted to transfer her between boats — both of them still moving — when she was dropped into the -3 Celsius waters off the coast of Norway on March 29.

Image: Suomi Star/Flickr

It took rescuers eight minutes to get her out of the freezing waters. After being treated in Bodo, Norway — for complications due to her original illness and also from the plunge into the sea — she was flown home. According to this article at USA Today, the fight to save her was ultimately in vain. Janet died on April 21.

The incident is being investigated by the ship’s owners and Norwegian authorities.

Tags: cruise ship, Norway, ocean countess

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